Monday, October 5, 2015

Keurig is the Downfall of Corporate America and While Building Productivity

Okay, it is not the downfall of corporate America.  However it does build productivity. 

The Keurig represents a decline of a different kind.  First, a word or two about the Keurig.

It is a remarkable machine when you think about it.  You can make any type of coffee you want (provided the flavor exists) in a matter of minutes.  No waiting around. In our office kitchen I count four different flavors of coffee and one tea.  The brand in our office is Green Mountain.  Now if you go to the Keurig website, I count 233 K-Cup flavors of coffee, tea, hot cocoa, etc. And 43 different brands.  (You get the idea).  Talk about choice! 

The Keurig is rapidly replacing the standard coffee machines in offices.   One of the best aspects of working in an office with colleagues is the morning coffee routine.  That is when a full pot of coffee (12 cups) is brewing and several people are standing around waiting to pour a cup.  Usually, you would talk to your colleagues about something of interest, like the weather, sports, weekend activities, etc.  Now, co-workers  make a cup and leave.  No more standing around and engaging in idle chitchat. Back to the desk.  Productivity increases (bet you thought I forgot about this one).  But camaraderie decreases because you know less about your colleagues.  In some respects, the morning coffee is the glue of an office and the relationships among individuals.

But no more.  We celebrate individual choice; hence we satisfy our craving or want. But we lose one more fiber of collective gathering for no reason other than a shared love of coffee or tea.

A second issue with the Keurig is now I do not get a sense of how people take their coffee or tea. You can tell a lot about how people take their coffee. Do they add a sweetener and milk? If so, do they add it one spoonful at a time and then taste it?  Do they add the sweetener and/or cream before or after they pour the coffee?  Some people are stirrers.  Do they have a particular sweetener and cream they use or prefer?  Are they trying to change (like cut back on the sweetener or cream)?  If so, is it because they read or heard something?  Worth a question if a person changes his habits.  Frankly, I think it is an interesting dynamic to watch.  Alas, I am transparent, since I drink my coffee black, I have never had those issues.

Side note: anyone who knows me understands why I drink my coffee black. My mother refused to let my sister and I put anything in coffee when we asked. Her immortal words “You must learn to drink it black.”  So I have ever since.

The final issue with the Keurig is the sheer waste.  I know many a staunch environmentalist who thinks nothing about the number of K-Cups added to the landfill daily.  Whereas a pot of coffee is simply coffee grounds (from Mother Nature) and a recyclable coffee can or plastic container.  Minimal waste.

So what is the answer? No more Keurig, back to the coffee pots. The coffee pots are old and should be new again. 

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